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Educational opportunity and achievement in the Manchester Area, 1833 - 1895. October, 1968

Bickerstaffe, Derek (1968) Educational opportunity and achievement in the Manchester Area, 1833 - 1895. October, 1968. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The aim of this inquiry into educational provision in the Manchester district in the nineteenth century is to discover to what extent the voluntary system as it existed before 1870 was able to cater for the educational needs of the area, how far direct state intervention after 1870 was justified and the effect it had on education. It is hoped that it will answer some of the questions, at least on a local level, raised by E.G. West in his controversial book education and the State published by the Institute of Economic affairs (1965) in which he claimed that schools provided by the religious agencies and private enterprise were capable of filling the educational deficiencies of the nineteenth century and that state intervention in 1870 inhibited the development of the private sector. The main conclusions reached are, firstly, that the voluntary system was incapable of providing education for anything approaching a satisfactory proportion of the child population, whether this is viewed as a place for every child or, as the School Boards subsequently fixed it, as a place for one-sixth of the population, one-fifth in poorer working-class districts such as were found in and around Manchester. The numerous inquiries into the state of education before 1870 reveal that some 50% of the child population was' at school, with one notable exception The Newcastle Commission, following an unsatisfactory and unrepresentative survey so far as Lancashire, was concerned, gave a figure of 65% for the sample area, this representing only 1 in 8 of the population - generally regarded as unsatisfactory. Even if the voluntary system could have provided the necessary, places, it is doubtful if they could have been filled without the element of compulsion which the School Boards introduced. Secondly, it must be concluded that state intervention on an ever increasing scale was, essential before educational system capable of meeting the needs of an expanding industrial society could be created. It was only in the late l860's, with the ever increasing threat of direct state intervention, that the voluntary system was prodded into action. Schools provided by them expanded at a remarkable rate and the most glaring deficiencies were filled. For this they must be given full credit, but they were not able to maintain this effort and keep pace with the expanding population on the one hand and the increasing demand for education of a superior character on the other. It was the School Boards which coped with these problems. Thirdly, the failure of the voluntary system is reflected in the poor quality of such education which was provided before 1870. The introduction of direct state intervention and the School Boards, did hot however automatically lead to improved standards.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Education
Thesis Date:1968
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:12

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